Everton striker Simone Magill says there is a “fantastic” atmosphere at the club after both women’s and men’s teams made superb starts to the season.
The Northern Ireland forward scored the opener as Everton beat Birmingham in the FA Cup semi-final.
They have three wins in three Women’s Super League games while the men’s side are the early Premier League leaders.
“The teams are performing and doing really well – to be around that buzz everyday is fantastic,” said Magill.
The 25-year-old joined Everton in 2013 and signed a new three-year deal with the Merseyside club in 2019 after being named player of the season in their WSL campaign.
Challenging the top three clubs – Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal – is a major goal for Willie Kirk’s ambitious side this season.
Running like clockwork
“Everything is clicking into place for us now – we’ve recruited really well in the recent window and the players have slotted in perfectly,” Magill told BBC Radio Ulster’s Sportsound Extra Time.
“We’ve got a great manager in Willie and we’ve bought into his philosophy in how we play. We want to be taken seriously this year and to compete against the usual top three.
“When you get a win over Chelsea in the FA Cup quarter-final, that gives you belief that we can challenge against bigger teams. We want to get Everton back to the top of the women’s game and challenge for Champions League spots.
“Getting to finals is always something you want to do so making the FA Cup final is fantastic. I want to contribute more goals this season – I’m delighted I’ve got off the mark and am scoring goals in big games.”
Everton face Manchester City in the FA Cup decider at Wembley on 1 November – Magill’s birthday.
Magill is also looking forward to what she describes as “massive” Women’s European Championship qualifiers with Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland go into their final three Group C games in fourth and still in with a sniff of qualifying after a 6-0 hammering of the Faroe Islands, with Magill bagging a double in Torshavn.
“Hopefully we can build on that great win against the Faroes. Qualification is definitely still possible – we have to win our remaining games and hope the rest of the results fall in our favour,” said Magill.
“We can do everything that is within our control, which is winning our remaining games to put ourselves in a position to get a play-off spot, which is fantastic progress.
“We have never come close before to talking about qualification for a major tournament, let alone be in a position to get there. We believe, and that’s the most important thing.
“One of my biggest dreams is to qualify for a major tournament with Northern Ireland – if I can help the team by scoring goals to bring us closer to that, then that’s what i want to do.”
Click here to hear Simone Magill’s full interview with Nikki Gregg on BBC Radio Ulster’s Sportsound Extra Time.